Hot-desking problems and their solutions in order to succeed

The Hot-desking problems has become increasingly popular thanks to the increase in hybrid working. It’s a great way to promote flexibility in the workplace while optimizing space usage. Instead of the traditional model involving each employee having an assigned workspace, workers can use whichever workspace they prefer.

While hot-desking has plenty of benefits, it can be challenging for employees to adjust to this radical way of running an office. As a hot-desking champion, it’s down to you to identify any problems that may arise and solve them.

Hot-desking problems (and their solutions)

As is the case with any new initiative, transitioning to a hot office can come with its fair share of problems. Thankfully, these issues are easy to solve if you know what you’re doing!

Loss of collaboration and inclusivity

A hot-desking system can make it difficult for team members to find workspaces near each other. Many employees may prefer to work in isolation to avoid distractions, which can lead to employees choosing desks far from other workers. With everyone choosing whichever workspace they please, groups may find it difficult to collaborate on projects successfully.

Hot-desking can also present an issue when integrating new employees into the team. Existing employees may not wish to be the go-to helper for new employees learning the ropes, especially if they’re introverted. This can give new employees a poor first impression, as they start to feel excluded by those choosing to sit away from them. Ultimately, this general sense of avoidance can cause employee retention issues.

The solution? Give managers the ability to block book workspaces before opening up bookings to floor workers. Implementing a loose hierarchy allows managers to prioritize office areas for teams and new starters.

Loss of personal space and security

Hot-desking requires a strict clean desk policy. Nobody wants to come into work in the morning and find the desk they booked covered in someone else’s clutter. Unfortunately, this means that employees cannot put a personal touch on their workspace.

For some workers, the ability to spruce up their workspace with a small plant or personal pictures helps them feel at home in the office. These little touches help remind workers of why they work so hard and make them feel like their personality is a valued part of the business. Hot-desking problems model make it difficult for these workers to feel comfortable in their workspace, making them feel undervalued.

The solution to this issue will help those disengaged workers and it can provide a brilliant chance to grow the entire team.

A well-managed hot-desking system will free up office space that you can transform into new social spaces. You and your employees can use these new spaces for breaks, lunches, or other extracurricular activities. And you can ask employees for input when designing these new spaces. Give everyone the chance to put their stamp on the new areas, and they’ll feel more at home in the office.

Having the right equipment set up

Hot-desking is a little like musical chairs. Everyone shifts around the office, and they won’t always sit in the same places. In a poorly set up hot office, this can mean that a worker could be working in a space with a great computer one day, and the next day they’re stuck with a dud.

Inconsistency between workspaces can cause frustration and create conflict between workers as they fight for the best equipment. The more frustration hot-desking causes, the more likely workers will reject the hot-desking system and return to the traditional, poorly optimized assigned desk system.

For a hot office to succeed, every workstation needs to have the right equipment.

The essential hot-desking equipment

The key to a functioning hot office is to make everything uniform. Every workstation should offer the same facilities to ensure that workers have the necessary tools, no matter where they sit.

If you want your transition to hot-desking to be a success, every workstation should have the following:


Comfortable seating is essential in any office. However, hot-desking places more focus on the furniture you choose. If one workspace has a nicer chair than the others, workers will fight over it. Make sure office chairs are comfortable and supportive enough for working all day. Desks should be sturdy and simple. You want something uniform that still gets the job done.

Wipes/sanitary sprays/gels

Because hot-desking can mean a workspace has a different user every day, it’s crucial to emphasize hygiene in the office.

Make sure that each workspace has hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes. It also wouldn’t hurt to make workers aware of how to leave their workspace at the end of the day.

Monitors, mouse, and keyboards

Obviously, every desk should have a computer or a monitor for docking laptops, but it’s important to remember the peripherals need to be just as functional. Every computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, even the mouse pad should be the same level of quality on every workspace.

Way to connect to the network

Occasionally, people will bring in their own equipment to work. This is especially true for offices that rent spare space to external workers.

Everyone needs a simple way to connect to the internet. If your office runs on WIFI, make sure to leave the network details and USB dongles. If you’re running a LAN, you need to ensure each desk has an accessible ethernet port.

Power outlets

Every workspace needs to have easy access to power outlets. Using “library style” benches makes it easy to run power and internet cables through the office. Or try integrating plugs into the floor at each desk space to keep cable management issues to a minimum.


Successful hot-desking is easier to manage than you may think. You just need to choose a great workplace scheduling platform.

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A workplace scheduling platform like Smartway2 takes all the guesswork and stress out of managing a hot-desking office. Contact us today to find out how!


Hannah Cresswell

Last updated February 24, 2022